This film is an account of the Talyllyn Railway, a historic narrow-gauge slate carrier in Tywyn, Wales, and its operation by a preservation society who saved it from being sold for scrap. Although the release date is 1965, it was actually filmed in the early 1950s. Academic Film Archive of North America director Geoff Alexander visited the railway in June, 2009 as part of the process of preparing the film for uploading:
"Opened in 1865, the Talyllyn railway was the first narrow-gauge steam railway opened specifically for industrial hauling by steam. Since saving the railway in the late 1940's, hundreds of individuals have been involved in keeping it running, and visitors are welcome to ride (www.talyllyn.co.uk) The passion for the railway on the part of the Society is extraordinary. Volunteers are classed in three groups: adults, adolescents, and children, and a significant number of marriages and children have happened as a result of the social interaction among society members. I found the Talyllyn experience to be a culture with a passion for preservation. Filmmaker Kit Davidson gave the Society the right to use this film to raise funds, and they sell the DVD in their shop. When I arrived, the four people cleaning the locomotive spontaneously started whistling the theme to this film, written by Judd Woldin. The railway is easily visited by rail from virtually any point in the UK, as connections can be made to the town of Tywyn, in Wales, where the Talyllyn Railway is located."
For more on the filmmaker, visit www.afana.org/davidsoncarson.htm
October 16, 2021 Subject:
Railway with a Heart of Gold
Invaluable as a record of the world's longest surviving preserved railway: the more so for being in colour. Filmed two years after volunteers took the Tallylyn over, an episode chronicled in the classic book 'Railway Adventure' by the industrial historian LTC Rolt, one of the pioneers. The story had already inspired the British comedy movie 'The Titfield Thunderbolt', which may account for this short's emphasis on wacky mishaps-- although the TR was in fact from its earliest days under preservation an exemplar of efficiency.
August 12, 2009 Subject:
The little train
I sent this to my colleague in London whose father lives in Northern Wales. She wrote me that the whole system has been cleaned up, updated, and revamped and spent many hours on the narrow gauge train. The slate mines have long been closed and are now tourist attractions.